Kiran & Rishi

Traditional Telugu Wedding

Below is detailed description of a typical Telugu Style(South Indian) Wedding. This is where the bride comes from.

Telugu Wedding is a sophisticated affair and is made up of a variety of rituals and ceremonies that expand over several days. It may be noted that there may be certain regional and caste alterations in rituals regarding ceremonies related to Telegu wedding ceremony. However, the Telegu people have their highest regard for the association of marriage.

Pre Marriage Rituals:

With an array of colorful pre wedding rituals the Andhrites proceed towards the d` day.

Muhurtam - Muhurtam is an important ceremony where after a propitious period of worshipping, the day is selected for the marriage. It is mostly the phase of evening hours i.e.7-11 pm. The Telugu marriage rituals are basically Hindu marriage rites only.

Pendlikoothuru - This ritual takes place a day or two just before the marriage. In this the boy and the girl are besmeared with oil and turmeric for purification. They take bath and both wear new clothes. The girl wears a saree and the boy wears a dhoti. Also the girl is asked to decorate her hair with flowers and wear bangles. All the assembled married women are gifted with the betel leaves, sweets, flowers and bangles. This gifting is for the purpose of the married ladies blesses the to-be married girl and wishes her to become a part of their group.

Snathakam - Snathakam is an essential ritual that takes place a few hours before the actual Muhurtam. It involves only the bridegroom, as he has to wear a silver thread on his body.

Kashi Yatra - Kashi Yatra is a unique ceremony, which has the boy saying at the end of the thread ceremony that he has left behind all the worldly pleasures and going to Kashi. This strange but very applicable ceremony and is called "KashiYatra" or the journey to Kashi. To stop him from the symbolic departure to Kashi, the girl`s brother asks him to stay on. For this he also offers his sister in marriage.

Mangala Snaanam - Mangala Snaanam is the auspicious bath that takes place at dawn of the wedding day. Both the bride and the groom take this bath individually. Such a bath means the purification of one`s physical self before proceeding for the marriage rites.

Aarti - The Aarti ceremony is peculiar to the Indian marriages. It features in almost all the marriages, may be in a different form everywhere. It has the family members applying the groom and the girl with oil and doing aarti around them. It is done for several reasons; one of them being to defend the couple from evil planetary influences, evils omens and other troubles.

Gauri Pooja - After having the holy bath, the bride worships the goddess Gauri for invoking peace. Gauri is the Mother Durga symbolizing divine power, energy, womanpower, fertility, etc.

Ganesh Pooja - When the bride performs the Gauri Puja, the groom at the same time participates in the Ganesha puja. Ganesha puja is considered propitious for any significant occasion as it ensures the success of the work at hand.

Kanyadaan - The Kanyadaan rite in Telugu marriage ceremony is striking as well as wonderful. It is the girl`s mama or the maternal uncle, who carries the bride in a bamboo basket to the mandap or wedding place. The bride is well dressed in a bright colored saree and precious jewellery. According to the custom the girl should always carry some betel leaves, betel nuts, a coconut, a sandalwood stick and a red pumpkin. The procedure of the marriage is such that a curtain is placed between the bride and groom, so that they do not see each other till the wedding is completed.

After the marriage, the father and mother of the bride washes the boy`s feet with water. It is more so done with the view that the groom is considered as a figure of God. In most of the Hindu marriages, the groom is equaled to the God and the parents give away their daughter in marriage to him is if gifting their most loved thing to Lord Vishnu himself. This ritual is also associated with the practice of gifting a virgin to the groom who is no less than Vishnu. In a way it also means that the parents are blessing the daughter with a husband who is equivalent to the God.

Madhuparkam - Madhuparkam is the custom, where the boy and the girl wear a white dhoti and sari respectively, with a bright red border. The garments are made of pure cotton.

Mangalsutra - Telegu Wedding, Indian WeddingMangalsutra - The Mangalsutra is usually a golden chain with alternate black beads and chain. The married women in a number of communities in India wear it. In the Telugu community, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride with three consecutive knots.

Kanya Daan Akshata - At the end of the Mangalsutra ceremony, the couple exchange garlands around each other`s necks. And all those gathered shower flower petals and rice. This is called Akshata, the offering of uncooked, turmeric-coloured rice.

Saptapadi - Saptapadi is a ritual that includes the bride and the groom taking seven steps together around the fire. In each round they utter mantras, which add to reinforce the marriage. As they take the pheras, the bride`s saree and groom`s dhoti ends are tied into a knot indicating eternal association.

Rituals After Marriage
There are a number of rituals after marriage, which completes the Telegu marriage ceremony.

Griha Pravesh
This is a very common marriage ritual, where the bride is made to go to the groom`s house with all rites and elaboration. The two mangalsutras are united in a common thread 16 days after the wedding, with some of the black or golden beads between the two plates, so that they do not clash with each other. This symbolizes concord between the two families. The number 16 is considered an auspicious one in Hinduism and 16 days are symbolic of the time period that the bride has taken to know and understand her husband`s family. As is common with most Hindu ceremonies, the bride goes for a bath and wears a new sari. Any elder from the family, or the husband himself then joins the two mangalsutras on a common thread.

Jeelakarra-Bellamu is a strange ritual especially featuring in the Telugu marriage, where a paste of cumin seeds and jaggery is made. The bride and the groom luxuriously apply this paste on each other`s hands. The idea behind applying the paste of cumin seeds and jaggery is that the two diverse components coming together and united as one indissolubly and forever.